Chapter 5. Forms

In many offices, forms for data entry and data viewing are where users spend most of their time. Well-designed forms make work easier and help ensure the quality and integrity of data.

Access makes it easy to crank out basic forms, but adding the tweaks and touches that make your forms truly user-friendly can be maddening. In this chapter, we’ll start off with some usability tricks for you, the designer (in form Design View), and show you how to take full advantage of various form designs, including multi-table forms, subforms, and pop-up forms. The largest section in the chapter is devoted to usability tweaks your users will love, such as forms that enter data automatically and combo boxes that work the way they should.


Activating the Wizards

THE ANNOYANCE: Call me stupid, but I’ve been using Access for weeks and I haven’t seen a Combo Box Wizard yet.


An option group is a set of radio buttons or checkboxes that are grouped together. The user can select only one of the options in the group.

THE FIX: The wizards for combo boxes and other controls, such as list boxes and option groups, are easy to miss if you don’t know where to look. At the top right in the Toolbox in Design View (see Figure 5-1), there’s a Control Wizards button that activates the wizards. It looks like a magic wand with stars. (If you don’t see the Toolbox, select Tools → Customize, click the Toolbars tab, and check the Toolbox box.) Click the button, and when you add a ...

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